Our flight to Zürich was smooth and uneventful – a pleasant surprise considering we were traveling with our two Frenchies (on our laps in the cabin) and five pieces of rolling luggage. We had hoped for the best, prepared for the worst, and got what we hoped for!
Mom L and Carolyn brought us to the airport in NJ and looked after Pacman and Rocky while we checked in for our flight. We tried not to get too teary as we said our farewells, and then P and I headed to our gate where the pups promptly began making friends with the other people waiting there. We were afraid we would get lots of eye rolls and derisive comments, but the dogs were well behaved and for the most part, people were happy to see them.
On the plane, we had our own row of two seats. The four of us were pretty snug, but it was nice to all be together at the start of our big move. We got a beautiful view of the lights and colors of NYC as we flew out of Newark – a beautiful last look at the U.S. The dogs were very well behaved (thanks to some Thunder Shirts and dramamine!) and they provided a distraction from the sad feelings associated with selling our home and flying far away from our family and friends. The crew members were so impressed with the pups, they gave them little SwissAir plush toys at the end of the flight.
Once in Zürich, we proceeded through customs. Prior to our trip, we had gone to great lengths to obtain all of the necessary documentation for the import of animals into Switzerland. I offered the customs officer our packet of documents, and without taking them, she craned her neck over the counter to take a look at the dogs. She made a kissy face at the pups and said she didn’t need our papers. Apparently if your dogs are cute enough, there’s less red tape to import them!
The Zürich airport taxis would not take the dogs, and we were not interested in (or physically capable of) bringing all of our luggage on the train, so P went ahead with the luggage in a cab, and I took the dogs on the train. Without two working cell phones, the experience reminded us of how reliant we are on modern technology. We planned contingencies for our contingencies in the event that we couldn’t find one another at our destination train station, then hoped for the best. Amazingly, as I descended the train platform at our destination, P had just entered the station at a nearby entrance – our rendezvous couldn’t have gone more perfectly!
We got to our temporary housing in the early evening – it had taken us all afternoon to get home! We grabbed some quick Thai takeaway and crashed.